Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini have been making documentary films together for 20 years.
Their New York City production company is the Epidavros Project/Epidoko Pictures.
Before joining forces, both made movies about cultures and political situations outside the U.S. They filmed matriarchs of extended families in Haryana State, India, and young Khmer Rouge guerrilla fighters in Western Cambodia, coca growers in Peru's Upper Huallaga Valley and tribal elders in Kankan, Northeast Guinea.
Their first feature documentary collaboration was a deep look at the barriers to girls' education in Africa, These Girls are Missing. Their first U.S. film came next—an inside look at the American political asylum system, the groundbreaking Well-Founded Fear.
Then in the summer of 2001, still in the United States, they entered into the mysteries of Capitol Hill, by far the most complex culture and political situation either of them had encountered anywhere. Twelve years later, the New York Film Festival premiered all 10 feature documentaries in the resulting film series How Democracy Works Now.
In the Fall of 2015, they returned to Lincoln Center and the New York Film Festival to premiere the series' capstone, Immigration Battle/Reasons to Believe. The national U.S. broadcast on PBS Frontline followed in late October.
After Capitol Hill, Camerini and Robertson are once again on the loose, in the world.
Growing up in East Texas and New Mexico, Shari Robertson always wanted to know the world. She studied anthropology and ethnographic film to begin her career in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea, observing rapid culture change in a remote tribal society. Before she joined forces with Michael Camerini, her documentary work usually examined difficult situations, often in inaccessible places, mostly for European television.
Michael Camerini made his first film at age 19, in Varanasi, India. It is still in use in universities today. His style of filming encourages people to tell their own stories, whatever the cultural context. An interest in what it means to be a foreigner is the unifying theme in his work.